Excessive Belching, Burping and Bloating – Causes and Treatment

Causes of Belching and Bloating

Belching is the expulsion of gas from the gut through the mouth (eructations). Bloating may occur due to gas trapped within the gastrointestinal tract and this is often relieved upon belching.

Belching and bloating may be due to food, eating habits, or disorders in the stomach, small intestine or gallbladder. Bloating and gas may not always be expelled or relieved by a belch and other factors and conditions should be considered in cases of excessive bloating and gas.


Belching After Eating – Air Swallowing (Aerophagia)

This may be voluntary or involuntary. Air usually enters the esophagus and is expelled as a belch. It usually does not cause any discomfort or bloating.

Causes of air swallowing:

  • Fast eating or drinking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Nasal blockage
  • Hyperventilation related to anxiety
  • Regular gum chewing
  • Poorly fitted dentures

Treatment is by removing the cause.

Belching After Drinking

Carbonated drinks like soda and beer cause a build up of gas within the stomach and esophagus. This is then expelled as a belch. Certain antacids cause the formation of carbon dioxide as a byproduct to neutralizing stomach acid.

Treatment is by avoiding carbonated drinks and excessive amount of antacids.

How to Burp?

A simple method is to take several short gulps of air. The air should be swallowed partially so that it remains within the esophagus. Once there is sufficient air build up, the air can be regurgitated similar to a burp. This method should not be used excessively immediately after a meal as it can trigger vomiting at times.

How to Burp a Baby?

A baby should be carried upright and supported against the shoulder while a gentle rubbing motion is conducted on the baby’s back. Other methods that may assist is supporting baby in a 45 degree angle between the upright and supine (lying flat) position. Gentle taps on baby’s back may assist in this position to trigger a burp.

There is no set time for a baby to burp. Infants tend to swallow air when drinking so it is advisable that baby should burp within 20 minutes after a feed. However baby may burp well after this period quite naturally.


Hiatus Hernia

Hiatus hernia (Latin : hiatus – opening, hernia – protrusion) is the protrusion of a portion of the stomach into the thoracic (chest) cavity due to a weakening or rupture of the diaphragm. The protrusion and compression of the stomach causes a range of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The exact cause of a hiatal hernia is not known but there are many contributing factors:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Physical exertion and strain (similar factors that can contribute to an inguinal hernia)
  • Chronic respiratory disorders that involve persistent coughing
  • Surgical procedures affecting the diaphragm
  • Congenital deformities (birth defects)

A person with hiatus hernia may be without symptoms for long periods of time. Acute symptoms include pain or discomfort after eating, sensation of ‘fullness’ after small meals, belching, indigestion, heartburn, acidic taste in mouth. This pain is usually felt in the middle of the abdomen or even cause gastrointestinal chest pain.

A hiatal hernia cannot be seen or felt from the outside. Upon palpation (touching the area with firm pressure), there may be some tenderness in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen. This correlates with the area of the stomach and diaphragm.

Diagnosis. An x-ray is usually sufficient to identify the hernia. Most soft organs and structures in the human body are almost transparent on an x-ray while solid structures, like bone, is opaue. In order to highlight and define semi-transparent organs on an x-ray, radiologically active substances, like barium, needs to be used internally. By drinking a barium solution, the gastrointestinal tract becomes more visible on an x-ray.

Picture of sliding hernia

Picture of para-esophageal hernia

Diet and Remedies in Hiatus Hernia

Carbonated drinks are to be avoided as they may cause expansion of the stomach cavity thereby aggravating the pain and discomfort of a hiatal hernia. Acidic foods and caffeinated drinks may also aggravate your hiatus hernia. Most sufferers note specific foods that aggravate their condition. These foods are often unique to the sufferer and each case should be considered on an individual basis.

Avoiding foods that may aggravate GERD and bloating is recommended.

Treatment of Hiatus Hernia

A paraesophageal hernia can be corrected surgically. More about hiatus hernia.


H. Pylori Infection

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial species that infects the stomach causing an increase in gastric acid and damaging the lining of the stomach. H.pylori infection may contribute to belching and bloating as the bacteria produces and metabolizes ammonia resulting in the release of carbon dioxide. This production and metabolism of urea by the H.pylori bacteria is the chemical method by which it survives in the gastric acid of the stomach. In chronic infections, the large population of the H.pylori bacteria can contribute to small but significant quantities of carbon dioxide gas within the stomach. H.pylori infection often causes peptic ulcers.

Diagnosis of H.pylori

H. pylori can be diagnosed with a range of tests using blood, breath and stool samples. Antibodies to H.pylori within your blood sample can indicate a current or previous H.pylori infection. A breath test is more reliable to indicate a current H.pylori infection as the presence of urea in the expelled breath can indicate the presence of the H.pylori bacteria. A stool sample may be useful for antigen testing to identify a current H.pylori infection. A biopsy of the gastric mucosa is one of the most effective methods to identify H.pylori infection but is not often the first choice of testing due to the invasive procedure that has to be conduted in a suitable clinic or hospital.

Diet and Remedies in H. Pylori Infection

Essential oils should be used cautiously and should not be used internally in it original distilled state. Garlic has shown to be fairly effective in treating H.pylori infection when used in conjunction with omeprazole (The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy).

Treatment of H. pylori with Antibiotics

It is advisable to treat H.pylori infection with antibiotics in combination with proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole. The proton pump inhibitors allow the gastric lining to heal while the antibiotics kill existing bacteria and prevent further growth of the bacterial population.

Treatment is fairly successful but a proton pump inhibitor may have to be used for a period of time after the infection for maximum benefit. The chances of recurrence of the H.pylori infection is high and the case should be constantly monitored.

Antibiotics use may further aggravate the inflammation of the gastric lining and repeated courses may be required. Prolonged antibiotic use can also affect bowel movements and a suitable probiotic may be necessary.


Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis literally means paralysis of the stomach muscles and this prevents or delays the stomach from emptying its contents into the small intestine. The causative factor may affect the stomach nerve supply to the muscle or the muscle itself.

Causes of Gastroparesis

  • Diabetes (Type I or II)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Damage to nerve or muscle due to surgery or other trauma
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Post-viral syndrome

 

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

  • feeling ‘full’ quickly or after small meals
  • nausea, vomiting
  • belching (foul odor of rotten eggs)
  • unintentional loss of weight

Diagnosis of Gastroparesis

It is essential to carefully diagnose gastroparesis as it causes similar symptoms to gastrointestinal obstruction due to cancer, pylorostenosis, or bezoar. A gastric emptying study uses radioactive material to monitor the flow of the stomach contents. This is useful in differentiating if the gastroparesis is also affecting the small intestine. An endoscopy may also be useful to verify that there is no obstruction by a tumor in the stomach or intestines.

Diet in Gastroparesis

A liquid or semi-solid diet is advisable and nutritional value should always be considered. Large amounts of fat within the diet is not advisable and fat should be avoided altogether as a precautionary measure. Fat is not well tolerated by the gastrointestinal tract and requires significant intestinal motility (peristalsis) to churn the fatty foods with bile and other lipase enzymes to breakdown the fats. Alcohol is not advisable in gastroparesis as it may further aggravate the delayed gastric emptying.

Home Remedies and OTC Drugs

Gastroparesis should not be managed without professional medical assistance. Immediately consult with your medical practitioner if you suspect that you may be suffering with gastroparesis.

Treatment of Gastroparesis

Treatment of gastroparesis may be through a combination of dietary changes, drugs, electromechanical devices or surgery.


Food Intolerances

Intolerance to certain foods

    may arise from disorders in the digestive or absorption process with the gut.

Lactose intolerance

    arises from the lack of the digestive enzyme lactase. A

hereditary fructose intolerance

    is similar to a lactose intolerance in that there is a hereditary lack of enzymes to metabolize fructose. A

fructose and sorbitol malabsorption

    may result in a reduced absorption of these carbohydrates by the gut thereby allowing intestinal bacteria to consume it. The consumption of the lactose, fructose and sorbitol by intestinal bacteria gives rise to hydrogen gas.

Symptoms of food intolerances and malabsorption are belching, nausea, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea. A rare hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) may cause more severe symptoms if dietary changes are not implemented. An excessive intake of fructose and/or sorbitol may result in vomiting, jaundice, fatigue, enlarged liver and seizures.

Diagnosis of food intolerances. Colonic bacteria consumes the undigested lactose, fructose and sorbitol producing hydrogen as a byproduct. This hydrogen is detectable by breath tests. A stool sample high in acidity may also assist with diagnosing a food intolerance. A lactose tolerance test may be advisable to establish lactose intolerance.

Treatment of food intolerances. A diet excluding these foods is essential. In lactose intolerance, dairy must be discontinued and a strict lactose free diet must be followed. Fructose intolerance and fructose or sorbitol malabsorption also require dietary changes.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

An increased population of intestinal bacteria within the small intestine results in an increased gas production within the gut. The intestinal bacteria are able to consume nutrient laden food which has not as yet been absorbed by the body. Gas is produced as a byproduct resulting in belching and bloating.

Causes of SIBO :

  • Diabetes (Type I or II)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Damage to nerve or muscle due to surgery or other trauma
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Postviral syndroms
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Diverticuli

Symptoms of SIBO are belching, bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, and symptoms of nutritional deficiencies.

Diagnosis. A fluid sample from the small intestine will reveal a large bacterial population in small intestine bacterial overgrowth. A xylose breath test can also assist with diagnosis.

Treatment. Oral antibiotics is usually effective in treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Nutritional supplements may be prescribed to treat nutritional deficiencies.


Biliary Stasis and Biliary Reflux

Biliary stasis is the reduction or absence of bile production or secretion into the gut. Bile is essential for the breakdown of fats within the food. Biliary reflux is the back-flow of bile up the small intestine and into the stomach and esophagus.

Causes of Biliary Stasis :

Causes of Biliary Reflux :

  • Dysfunction of the pyloric valve that separates the small intestine from the stomach.
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Cholecystectomy

Symptoms of biliary disease: pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting (bile may be regurgitated in biliary reflux), belching, bloating, weight loss, anorexia.

Diagnosis of biliary disease is by endoscopy, blood tests (may reveal elevated enzyme levels), and magnetic resonance imaging.

Treatment is with surgery, drug therapy to increase bile production, drug therapy to reduce gastro-esophageal reflux assists with biliary reflux, discontinue any dietary or lifestyle habits that may be contributing to liver disease including use of drugs and alcohol. For more information on biliary stasis, refer to Cholestasis.

Related Questions and Answers

  • dt7210

    Hi Dr.

    Thanks for reading. I’ve had diarrhea for 6 days now. Extremely runny. Included is a bloated feeling, as well as excessive burping and passing gas. This happens first thing in the early morning, as well as night time before bed. I get full a lot quicker and tried eating the BRAT diet to no avail. The bloated feeling is the only thing that lasts almost all day.
    The first few days the pain in my stomach in the morning and night was so bad i thought I was going to cry.
    I am overweight but have been eating healthier the past few months.
    I also was on Doxycycline for 10 days when I had Bronchitis – to prevent Pneumonia. I finished the meds 12th of NOV. Also under my one armpit I’ve developed a rash – itchy and sore – little bumps. I haven’t put any deodorant on but now not sure if its related to all these other symptoms. It seems to be healing up.
    Thanks.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Shirlin

    After food poisoning or gastroenteritis and the use of antibiotics, the population of the normal intestinal bacteria is severely disrupted. Although the symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea will resolve, abdominal bloating, flatulence, belching and loose stools can persist for a long period of time. You need to go on a probiotics. Use probiotics that are prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist which contains Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus casei. This should settle most of your symptoms within 3 to 5 days. If not, further investigation may be necessary.

    For more information, refer to Gastroenteritis Treatment and Gastroenteritis Diet.

  • krib

    Hi Dr,

    Thank you for your response. Funny thing is, my symptoms went away over the Thanksgiving break when I was just relaxing, even though I was constantly eating. I would feel physically full but no bloating or uncomfortable feeling. I kept my appt with my GI doctor, and he said everything looked fine in my blood tests and that since the symptoms went away over the holiday there was no need to do anything else. Problem is, my stomach ache came back right after my visit!! Im bloated and uncomfortable again! Could this be stress related? I am a graduate student and its finals time…

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi DT7210

    This seems like antibiotic associated diarrhea. Your normal intestinal bacteria may have been destroyed by the antibiotics. You will need a probiotic containing Saccharromyces boulardii and Lactobacillus casei to correct this. The bloating should also subside. Speak to your doctor about this. Do not just use any over-the-counter antibiotic as many are ineffective. Ask a pharmacist for an appropriate probiotic. Live culture yogurt may aggravate your condition further so do not use this as a probiotic.

  • kt

    Hello Dr Chris

    I need to burp every 15 minutes. After a meal I can burp ok (still have to force them out) then I get to a point where I can’t burp. I can’t get to sleep at night take Gas Ease most nights just to get to sleep as I can’t stand the gas build- up in my stomach. I occassionaly get heartburn & notice that I am worse the next days when I do get it. I am on Somac 40mg. I have has this on & off through life, but I got it really bad 2 months ago & have been bad ever since. I have a history of allergies & constipation but have gone off everything I am allergic too (had allergy tests- milk, eggs, yeast) & am eating plenty of fibre & water to keep everything moving. I’ve had a gastrosocopy, candida tests- all normal. I am at my wits end. What else should I test for – SIBO, fructose intolerance, delayed stomach emptying, tight UES?. I’ve been to a gastroenterologist but he doesn’t help. It is constantly sore under my ribs.

  • Dr. Chris

    HI Krib

    Yes, it could be stress related. If it is isolated to the stomach, in terms of gastritis, then stress can increase gastric acid secretion and thereby irritate the stomach lining further. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) seems more likely now that you report this improvement during a “stress free” period. You should do further tests like a stool test, endoscopy and colonoscopy and if no abnormality is detected then it will be diagnosed as IBS. Now it is a matter of learning to live with the condition and avoiding trigger factors. But have routine check ups just to exclude any serious cause that is undetectable at the moment.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi KT

    You should see another gastroenterologist if you are not finding your current practitioner helpful. It is your doctor’s duty to try to isolate the problem and treat it or at least refer you to another practitioner.

    The tests you mention should only be considered if it is warranted. The fact that you are on Somac indicates a hyperacidity condition and many of your symptoms can be explained by this. A stool test would be a good starting point and it will help verify possible causes which will then require further investigation.

    The soreness you are experiencing may be due to gastritis or trapped gas in the bowels (look into splenic flexure syndrome). There is also a possibility that this discomfort is due to another non-GI cause which also needs to be investigated. There is no way for knowing for sure without it being evaluated by a doctor. Your symptoms are broad and non-specific and could be due to any number of causes mentioned above.

  • Mr Tony Johnston

    I have been experiencing constant belching and chest pains and at times pains to the liver. I have done chest/heart,liver, endoscopy test and the doctor said everything is ok.I have just done stool test and I tested positive for helicobacteria.I have been given 3 antibacteria medications for 2wk.After all these I still have the pains and belching. I dont know what to do.Doctor appear confused too , any hints? thanks

  • Carinna

    Hi,

    I am not sure if anyone can help me but so many people have turned a blind eye to it and it is driving me mental!!

    Since I was 19 (I am now 30) I have constant elevated LFT’s to the point when I am consistently asked if I am a heavy drinker, I have had Hepatitis A and glandular fever, when I turned 25 I started to cough, like an irritated cough to clear mucous whenever I ate dairy (which I still have from time to time) which I was told was a post nasal drip. Now for the last 6 months I get a great deal of pain when I swallow which only lasts for the time I am swallowing but it hurts a lot! The doctor has told me it may be a stricture of the esophagus which I am waiting to have an endoscopy for. I have also had a history of billary sludge in my gallbladder when I was 25 as I suffered from what I considered “liver” pain which was actually coming from my gall bladder. I don’t know if these things are related but I am so over it and I really want some help.

    Thank you!!

  • Dr. Chris

    Mr Tony Johnston,

    Eradication therapy for H.pylori does not often resolve in one course. A second or sometimes third course is necessary. You may have mild gastritis which could have been undetected and until this settles and heals the symptoms may persist. If it was an ulcer, polyp, etc, it would have been detected during the endoscopy. The H.pylori test may need to be done again and the treatment repeated if necessary. You can read more on H.pylori gastritis treatment.

  • dave76

    Several month ago i was dignosed with a peptic ulcer with acid reflux symptoms. A blood test was done to test for H. pylori and it came back negative. No x-rays or any other forms of diagnosis were done and I was given nexium to take once a day. Within the last month or so I seem to have large amounts of gas and will burp or hiccup for many hours at a time. It gets very annoying after a while. Could it be the ulcer or something else causing the excessive burping or could it me the medication? Also how can I treat the excessive burping? Thanks.

  • Cindy

    Hi Dr. Chris,
    I`m a 33 year old woman and I`ve been experiencing excessive burping for about 8 months now. I get episodes of sickness that include: excessive burping, nausea, slight burning in my chest, lethargic/ foggy headed, frequent urination & body temperature drop all which lasts on average 2-4 hours. I also have constipation and pellet stool. On some rare occasions, I do experience diarrhea as well. Majority of the symptom flare-ups begin late afternoon & evenings. These symptoms don`t necessarily follow food intake either. Since falling ill, I`ve lost 18 lbs and now I weight 120lbs at 5`5`.

    I`ve altered my diet for the past 3 month excluding gluten, caffeine, dairy, red meat, fruits, alcohol, fried foods, spicy foods and almost all forms of sugar & sweetner. Changing my diet has helped a little bit but I still get symptom flare-ups 2 times a week. I did notice that sugar, alcohol & starchy foods cause immediate reactions. I do however still have 1 teaspoon of honey in the morning with hot water & lemon with no issues so I don`t think it`s fructose intolerance. I do not deviate away from this diet at all. I also do not have any allergies to food or environment.
    I`ve been taking probiotics for the past 2 months (TuZen & HMF Intensive). I can not tell if this helps at all.

    At first, my GP thought it was a UTI, then H Pylori but tests showed that both was negative. Then I had an abdominal ultrasound to rule out issues with my liver & gallbladder all which came back normal. I`ve a had stool test done looking for parasites but that came back negative.

    Finally my GP referred me to a Gastroenterologist who performed a upper GI Series. Results all came back normal. After the upper GI but before my follow-up visit, the Gastroenterologist even put me on domperidone but I couldn`t tell if it was helping as my symptoms would still appear.

    I`ve also seen a natropath that has been throwing out terms like dysbiosis, leaky gut, gut flora imbalance & candida overgrowth but I don`t know if I should go down that route of treatment just yet.

    I`m really at the end of my rope. Between the symptoms & my restricted diet, I can barely function at work and do not go out anymore in fear of getting sick. Do you have any ideas on what this could be? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Cindy

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Carinna

    It is difficult to say if all of this is related or stemming from different causes. An esophageal stricture has to be investigated further so that the exact cause can be isolated. It is possible that acid and bile reflux – where it flows up the gut into the esophagus – may have caused the stricture. Your repeated infections, serious infections at that, and pains does raise some concerns about possible autoimmune conditions. This could be a link between all the conditions you are experiencing. First go through the endoscopy as this is essential in identifying the cause of the stricture. Plus a biopsy may be done at the same time which may be able to provide more information.

  • newbie

    Hi,
    How long does it take for questions to be answered? I’ve posted a few time here but the posts seem to disappear. Do all questions get answered?

  • Dr. Chris

    Newbie,

    All suitable and relevant questions are answered. If your question contained inappropriate content, attempted to promote products or services or linked to unsuitable websites then it may be deleted.

    It takes us anywhere between 2 to 3 working days (usually longer) to answer a question. Please remember that this is a free service utilizing a lot of resources and we try to answer every legitimate question. If this does not suit you, then a paid question-answer website manned by medical professionals may be a better option – refer to the Ask a Doctor Online Now link.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Dave76

    The burping could be due to any one of the conditions. Large amounts of gas as you are describing, however, may be due to other conditions than what you mentioned. Air swallowing is still the most common cause, along with excessive consumption of carbonated drinks. These also need to be considered as possible causes of your burping apart from your history of acid reflux, ulcer and the H.pylori infection. Often patients get distracted by these conditions and don’t consider the more common causes mentioned. This is just one consideration though. You should speak to your doctor about this and possibly consider other investigations to assess the cause of your excessive burping. Yes, burping is commonly reported with the drug you are using but it is not excessive in all patients. Treatment of the burping depends on finding the cause as mentioned above.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Cindy

    If you had not mentioned the intensive gastrointestinal investigations, I would have attributed this to GERD coupled with irritable bowel syndrome or other gut motility disorders as this would explain your symptoms. Given the fact that the investigations did not reveal any abnormality does still leave IBS as a possible cause but you should have responded at least partly to the medication that you were using. Your symptoms are bit baffling though and I would advise that you speak to your doctor about conducting a motility study just to verify that gut motility is not disrupted. A stool test would also be helpful. Based on the results from these two tests, the doctor may be in a better position to diagnose a possible cause. A thyroid profile would also be helpful as thyroid disorders may cause some of these symptoms. These would be the next diagnostic investigations that may be helpful in isolating a possible cause.

  • momof2sons

    Help!!! For about the past for months now, I have been having excesive burping that smells like poop, when ever this happens it is followed by realy loose stools, and some times I trow up.This happens about 3-4 times a week. I am currently taking Prilocet, but when the burping happens I am not having any heart burn. It is so imberesing, some time I cant even go to school. I literaly burp ever minute, it is so uncomportable. I dont know what to do any more, talked to my doctor and she doesnt seem to realy think it is any thing at all. I need some advice please!!!!!

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Cindy

    I responded to your question on 23/12/2010. No need to post the same question again. It takes 2 to 3 working days or more to respond. You second question has been deleted.

  • dansocmom

    I have had alot of belching and upper abd pressure. It also is painful to the touch below my sternum. I have been treated for GERD in the past but have never had an endoscopy. Any ideas? The soreness to touch in my upper abd. is what really concerns me.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Momof2sons

    Your doctor may be correct and it may not be anything serious. There are certain conditions like gastric outlet obstruction, C.difficile infection and even gastroparesis that could account for these symptoms. Another possibility is that these symptoms are related to the medication that you are using but speak to your doctor about it. It may be worth seeing a gastroenterologist who will consider additional investigations.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Dansocmom

    Conditions associated with hyperacidity – GERD, gastritis, peptic ulcer – may all cause these symptoms. What also needs to be excluded however are gallstones and cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder). You should speak to your doctor about an ultrasound – both gallstones and cholecystitis may be detected with just an ultrasound. Intense pain and tenderness are common in these two conditions. An endoscopy is a good idea for assessing the extent of gastritis and peptic ulcer if present.

    You can read more about the symptoms of gallstones and cholecystitis in these articles :
    1. Gallstones Symptoms
    2. Inflamed Gallbladder

  • Jennifer

    I have a problem that I just don’t understand. I burp all the time and at time they are loud and at time it causes me to vomit because the burp is so intense it make me gag and get sick. I have had this problem for a long time, I seen a gas doctor and they did an endoscopy and noticed I had a rare bacterial infection which was treated and I was given Acidphex but it didn’t help with my belching neither did Prilocex…What is wrong with me this is not normal and very embarrassing!!!

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Jennifer

    As you can see there are many causes of excessive belching. If you are forcing out the belch then it can lead to regurgitation or vomiting. It is more likely to happen if you have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) because your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) may be not functioning properly. You need to see a gastroenterologist again and another endoscopy may be necessary. Take not of your portion sizes of food, avoid carbonated beverages, cigarette smoking or eating too fast. But you still need to consult with a doctor as there could be serious causes like gastric outlet obstruction that may be present.

  • Marie

    My partner has been burping excessively for the last 3 days & is also having strange spasms around the diaphragm area. He has taken gaviscon which doesn’t seem to alleviate it. He has no acid reflux with it, just a lot of wind and short sudden spasms. Any ideas what this might be?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Marie

    This could be a hiatal hernia or gastritis – both affect the stomach. Reflux is a common associated symptom and even if it is not evident, it may be present. The medication he is using (please do not use trade names in the future) would help with the associated acidity. Other possibilities are related to trapped gas in the colon but would not account for the belching to the extent that you report. It is advisable to see a doctor as further investigations are necessary for a diagnosis.

  • charmaine

    Hello.
    I have been belching a lot these past few weeks. Even after eating just a small amount of food, I feel so bloated that I need to burp many times. It feels as if there is something blocking my breathing; and the discomfort stays hours after, even after all the belching. A year ago, my doctor told me I have GERD. Is this related? Or something totally different because this has been happening for only a few weeks. Thank you so much for your time, I’m just really worried that this is something serious.

  • loured

    Hi, I have a long history of reflux and gastritis have been on and off PPI for yrs as well. I have been feeling fine for about a year. So I stopped my nexium. In jan ENT found a small granuloma on voice box caused by reflux. Back on ppi for the last 6 weeks .For about the last 5 days I have been buping/have fullness which feels like a gastritis flare up. I was scoped in 2009 (24) months ago which showed th same stuff as the last 6 scopes. I am going for another scope march, very worried about esphogeal cancer. Could the flare up be cause by stress and worry. My eating is fine no problem swallowing. ps I am negative for barretts have had numerous biopsies over the yrs.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Charmaine

    Yes, GERD can definitely cause these symptoms and you may just be having an acute exacerbation. GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that separates the stomach and esophagus malfunctions. The cause of this needs to be identified and treated. With some causes of GERD like a hiatal hernia, delayed gastric emptying or increased intra-abdominal pressure (obesity, pregnancy) this “feeling of being full even after small meals” is more likely to be present. Gastritis and even peptic ulcers that may also be existing may be further contributing to this.

    At this point you need an upper GI endoscopy to diagnose the cause of the GERD and identify complications that may have started up as well as any other underlying gastrointestinal condition. This may be followed up with other tests and investigations. If possible, you should see a gastroenterologist who can evaluate your case and follow through with chronic management.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Loured

    Yes, the flare up can definitely be due to stress. Acid secretion increases during these periods and if you lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is compromised, then your reflux will also exacerbate. You also have to be cautious about using your PPIs as directed as an excessive intake can cause some of the symptoms you are experiencing. Since you are being actively managed for this condition at the moment, it’s best to see your doctor any time that you experience changes in your symptoms. This will help your doctor to record your condition and changes and make note of any progression of the disease.

  • maggie

    Hi Dr. Greg,

    My husband burps a lot, and I think it is due to very fast eating. But I have noticed that he even burps hours after eating or even when not eating. He is not a regular smoker or drinker – smokes only couple of times a week, and drinks socially usually once a week (beer). We eat very healthy food, but he doesn’t consciously exercise, but does walk about 20 minutes a day – back and forth from work to the train station. However, I would want him to consult a doctor/specialist to be address this problem, and possibly get a remedy. What kind of doctor should we see? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Maggie

    Your husband should see a gastroenterologist. Air swallowing is the leading cause of excessive belching and eating fast is a contributing factor. Hopefully it is just a benign cause like air swallowing (aerophagia) but a proper medical assessment is definitely recommended.

  • elaine

    For as long as I can remember i have been suffuring from constant burping throughout the day and often the release of gas. I have been to many doctors and they all have told me the same thing. They say it can be due tome eating incorrectly, eating spicy foods, eating to fast or not allowing much time for my foodtodigest before going to bed. I have avoided all of the above mentioned but my problem still exists. i am in desperate need of help. i will be extemely appreciative if i can be given a cure for my problem.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Elaine

    Your doctors are correct. Most cases of excessive belching is due to eating too fast, drinking carbonated beverages, breathing through your mouth (especially if you nose is congested), and swallowing air with chewing gum and smoking. If you have conclusively excluded all these factors, then only should you look at other disorders. A lot of patients also make all the dietary changes but don’t take predisposing factors like nasal congestion into consideration so if this is a problem, then get it attended to If you are overweight, then weight loss is another important factor to take into consideration.. Belching on its own without any other symptoms is difficult to diagnose. You should see a gastroenterologist at this point who will consider a breath test, upper GI endoscopy and so on to diagnose possible causes. There is no “cure” or treatment without knowing the cause. Therefore you need to first consult with a gastroenterologist.

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  • lilrock

    Hi I don’t know what is going on with me I’m 7 months pregnant and lately I’ve been having liquid stools every time I use the bathroom. But just recently within the past few days I’ve been having gas. But today I wokeup in the middle of the night and used the bathroom and it was liquid. But it felt lik it was gas also becausemy stomache felt bloated like before and every time I went to go pass gas it wasn’t gas it was liquid stool do you think it could mean that the baby is lactose intolerant? I don’t know why this is but I would really like 2 find out and put a stop to it.

  • Starbright

    I have constant gas as do my sisters and mother. My mother’s has progressed into bloody diarrhea. What could be causing this? I eat only unprocessed foods yet the problem persists. My stomach is constantly distended and has now begun gurgling and I have been having slight nausea on occasion. I am not constipated, nor do I have diarrhea. I also get a terrible taste in my mouth at times, usually at night. I am about to just quit eating!! Please help!! We ate lunch (sushi) the other day and both me and my sister had uncontrollable gas for a good 2 hours!! Is this some genetic thing???